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Workforce engagement management: Strategies, tools & best practices


The Team at CallMiner

June 28, 2024

Workforce engagement management
Workforce engagement management

With happy, engaged workers, business operations can thrive. Workforce engagement management is a set of tools and procedures that help organizations improve employee satisfaction, productivity, scheduling, and work quality while reducing churn.

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In this guide, we’ve curated 25 expert tips and best practices to provide valuable insights about how organizations can improve workforce management strategically. Here’s an overview: 

  • Don’t be afraid to gamify the engagement process 
  • Promote open communication between workers and employers  
  • Create schedules that increase efficiency and suit employees’ needs 
  • Invest in employee growth with ample training 

In this article:  

  • What is workforce engagement management? 
  • The importance of workforce engagement management 
  • 25 workforce engagement management tips, strategies & best practices 
  • Implement a data-driven workforce engagement management strategy 
  • Frequently asked questions 

What is workforce engagement management?  

Workforce engagement management, also known as WEM, is a strategic approach that focuses on maximizing the productivity and efficiency of employees within an organization. Companies leverage various tools and techniques to ensure that employees are engaged, motivated, and performing at their best

At its core, WEM involves aligning employees' goals and objectives with those of the organization. This means ensuring that employees understand their roles and responsibilities, have the necessary tools and resources to perform their jobs effectively and receive regular feedback and support from their managers. 

One key component of workforce engagement management is employee recognition and rewards. Recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work and achievements can help boost morale, motivation, and job satisfaction, leading to higher levels of engagement and performance within the organization. 

Another important aspect of WEM is training and development. Providing employees with training opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge can not only improve their performance but also increase job satisfaction and employee retention. Investing in employee development shows that the organization values its employees and is committed to helping them grow and succeed in their careers. 

Additionally, communication plays a crucial role in workforce engagement management. Open, transparent communication between employees and managers can help foster a positive work environment and build trust within the organization. Regular feedback, one-on-one meetings, and team meetings are all important ways to keep employees engaged and informed. 

The importance of workforce engagement management 


We often speak on the importance of customer engagement and improving customer experience. While they’re critical for businesses to prioritize, workforce engagement is just as necessary for a successful business. 

When you keep your workers engaged and satisfied, you create opportunities for better outcomes, like productivity, employee growth, and collaboration. Workforce engagement management incorporates strategies and tools to foster a dedicated team of individuals who feel recognized, appreciated, and prepared for their roles. 

25 workforce engagement management tips, strategies & best practices  

Workforce engagement management is about creating a positive and supportive work culture where employees are motivated, empowered, and able to reach their full potential. By implementing strategies and practices to improve engagement and performance, organizations can benefit from increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction, and, ultimately, better business outcomes. 

Let’s examine some expert tips and best practices for implementing a strong workforce engagement management strategy.  

1. In call centers, continuous monitoring provides real-time feedback. “According to Forrester, only 31% of organizations closely monitor the quality of interactions with customers.  However, 92% of call center leaders see high value in sharing metrics (i.e., number of calls in queue, service level, customer satisfaction, schedule adherence, and first contact resolution) in real time with agents.  

With real-time call monitoring software in place, managers are alerted to customer service issues as they occur, as opposed to discovering them after the call has ended.  Real-time monitoring systems deliver performance feedback to agents during the call, which can help managers improve agent training programs and get a better idea of which agents are performing well versus those who need additional coaching.”

 - How do you develop a team of top performers in your call center?, CallMiner; X/Twitter: @CallMiner  

2. Identify when workforce engagement management is necessary. “Here are sure signs that you need a solution to streamline your workforce management:  

  • Managers and HR team members spend hours each week juggling calendars, managing schedules, and working on repetitive administrative tasks. 
  • Management struggles with poor workforce engagement because employees can’t communicate their scheduling needs and don’t feel in control of their work. 
  • You notice that customer satisfaction is declining due to staffing errors or employees making mistakes when they feel overwhelmed or improperly utilized. 
  • There is a lack of visibility into workforce data and key metrics such as employee attendance, productivity, turnover rates, or labor costs. 
  • The organization is experiencing rapid expansion but managers aren’t sure how to scale workforce management alongside company growth” 

- An Overview of Workforce Management Software and the Top Tools in 2024, Vendr; X/Twitter: @VendrHQ 

3. Understand who needs access to workforce management tools. “To evaluate cost and requirements [for employee engagement software], consider who will be using the software and how many licenses you'll need. For employee engagement software, you'll likely want access for your entire workforce, with special access for your HR administrators and managers. Once that's clear, it's also useful to rank the needs of your different users to identify the key priorities for your power users, managers, and employees, to ensure they're all met.” 

- Kim Behnke, 40 Best Employee Engagement Software Reviewed in 2024, People Managing People; X/Twitter: @PPLManagingPPL  

4. Promote open communication. “To promote employee engagement, the first requirement is to keep the employees out of the dark. If organizations act secretive and only divulge information on a ‘need-to-know’ basis, it will likely cause lower engagement rates among their employees. Transparency begets trust when employees get to understand how corporate decisions will affect the workplace or how they should deal with situations.  

“But is disseminating information enough? No, communication should go two ways—the employees should be encouraged to share their concerns so they don’t feel ignored or unvalued. Top business leaders generally believe in the open door policy and do not use ‘top-secret’ information to their advantage.” 

- 8 Employee Engagement Strategies for a Better Workplace Environment, HR Cloud; X/Twitter: @HRCloud  

5. WEM gives managers an understanding of key areas to focus on. “VoE helps managers [and] senior leaders understand an organization’s internal developments. These can be about employee behaviors, culture changes, infrastructural concerns, etc. This brings to the [forefront] issues that managers and leaders otherwise may not know or find out. This helps take corrective action and necessary measures for improving employee experience.” 

- Voice of Employee: Definition, Survey Questions and Importance, QuestionPro; X/Twitter: @QuestionPro  

6. Good WEM software provides room for self-improvement. “Create a culture of self-improvement that encourages knowledge sharing:   

  • Use real-time feedback and next-best-action guidance to improve customer service and business results  
  • CallMiner’s coaching workflow encourages personalized bi-directional supervisor/agent engagement 
  • Understand what agent behavior is working (and what’s not) and share knowledge with the rest of the organization for faster resolutions”  

- Focus on your frontline agents to improve customer service initiatives, CallMiner; X/Twitter: @CallMiner 

7. Use AI to maximize efficiency and productivity. AI to alleviate means taking the load off your contact center agents. This could look like using AI to handle simple tasks like password resets, which will automatically reduce your call volume. Leveraging AI to alleviate the volume of calls your business receives gives time back to your agents to deal with more complex queries.”  

- Juanita Coley, AI in Workforce Engagement Management (WEM): Five steps to success, Customer Experience Live; X/Twitter: @CXLiveTweets 

8. Employee surveys are great, but AI offers a more modern approach to feedback. “‘Feedback is a gift’, so the saying goes, as it leads to improvement. And like a gift, it needs to be treasured. An annual engagement survey is no longer enough to understand what your workforce is feeling and thinking. Regular surveys give you more feedback, although there is the danger of survey fatigue, where employees get bored of answering questions and may disengage. 

“And listening to the voice of the employee just got even more sophisticated with platforms that combine omnichannel listening, natural language processing, AI-powered automation and intelligent alerts. Now, you don’t have to ask for employee feedback – you can listen for it.” 

- Hearing the voice of the employee, Qualtrics; X/Twitter: @Qualtrics 

9. Invest in employee growth. “This is part of the nurturing phase of human capital management. Every human asset that you acquire should be fostered and polished to assist in the long-term growth of the organization. Whether it is by running a proprietary training program or sponsoring higher education for your employees, you are not only investing in the future of your company but also creating a sense of loyalty among your employees. 

“Remember, every employee loves a company that supports them in their professional career and adds value to their personal lives. Want to retain top-notch talent in your organization? Do not act selfish or dismissive. Ensure their personal growth and you will reap the benefits.” 

- 8 Employee Engagement Strategies for a Better Workplace Environment, HR Cloud; X/Twitter: @HRCloud 

10. Gamification strategies can make work more fun and engaging. “By adding elements of employee recognition, competition, and development in the form of employee engagement solutions that leverage gamification (think call center games, rewards, and friendly day-to-day competitions), contact centers can facilitate personal and professional growth, reducing the likelihood of attrition in the long run while boosting team performance.” 

- 5 Employee Engagement Trends, CallMiner; X/Twitter: @CallMiner 

11. Prioritize positive reinforcement in the workplace. “Praising employees for good work can help foster a positive work environment for all. Positive reinforcement can include tangible benefits, such as pay raises, bonuses, catered lunches or other perks.” 

- Whitney Beasley, The Power of a Positive Work Environment, Exude; X/Twitter: @ExudeHC 

 12. Take call-offs or productivity dips as a sign that something’s wrong with your WEM. “Agent absenteeism is often an early indicator that an agent might be reaching the point of no return, the point where he or she begins to look for another job.  

“That’s because all of it is circular. If I’m an agent and I can’t easily get the schedules I need or want to work, my absenteeism is going to be higher. Even if I’m a great agent, if my workload gets to be too much, I’ll probably call out more. I’ve often seen agents who used to call out only once every 2-3 months begin calling out monthly and then leave the organization shortly after.  

“Another early indicator of an agent who might be at risk of leaving is that you’ll see a sharp decrease in productivity. Someone who used to be one of your best agents gets sloppy. Someone who used to have good adherence now doesn’t meet his or her goals. Someone who used to receive high customer satisfaction scores now has scores trending downward.” 

- Kat Worman, Advice from a Workforce Management Expert on Reducing Agent Turnover, via Calabrio; X/Twitter: @Calabrio  

13. Incorporate tools that measure performance. “Performance management software platforms, such as Workday, BambooHR, and 15Five, offer features to track and manage employee performance and engagement. These tools enable organizations to set goals, provide continuous feedback, and conduct performance reviews, all of which contribute to maintaining a high level of engagement. Additionally, performance management software often includes features like recognition and rewards programs, which can further motivate and engage employees.”

- Boosting Workforce Engagement: Strategies For Effective Management, The Employer Domain via Medium; Medium: The Employer Domain  

14. Find and balance employee strengths and weaknesses through WEM tools. “Employee performance measurement tools help identify different employees’ strengths and weaknesses. As a business owner, you should understand where specific workers thrive and where they don’t. This information will allow you to delegate tasks accordingly and balance the team’s strengths and weaknesses so everyone feels confident in their work. It can also help you identify gaps in your workforce and indicate when it would be advantageous to bring on additional staff.”  

- Sean Peek, 14 Tools to Measure Employee Performance,; X/Twitter: @businessdotcom  

15. Employee engagement tools are a must for remote teams. “Employee engagement software solutions allow teams to connect with each other, no matter their proximity to each other or the office. The right solutions can allow your remote team to:  

  • Get to know each other. Building a community is one of the biggest challenges of hybrid or remote work. However, employee engagement software allows you to connect with your team virtually, whether it’s through planning remote events or having access to instant messaging.  
  • Collaborate more efficiently. Even when you aren’t in the same space, some employee engagement software solutions allow remote teams to collaborate in the form of task assignments, document sharing, and more.  
  • Recognize each other. A huge part of building community with remote teams is allowing them to support each other’s work. Peer-to-peer recognition capabilities allow remote teams to strengthen their trust in each other by acknowledging a job well done.”  

- Empower Progress: 10+ Employee Engagement Software + Tips, eCardWidget; X/Twitter: @eCardWidget 

16. Remember that WEM is a long-term commitment, not a one-time task. “Once your WEM strategies are in place, you’ll need to regularly monitor and evaluate the progress of your WEM initiatives against the objectives you set. This is where the technology we mentioned above will come in handy. Use these tools to execute quality management checks within your organization.  

“Be prepared to make changes based on feedback and evolving needs. Implementing WEM is a long-term commitment, but the payoff is worth it. Now, let’s look at our crystal ball and talk about what we see for the future of WEM.”  

- Aubrey Nekvinda, Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) Unlocked: Strategies for Better Engagement, Hubstaff; X/Twitter: @Hubstaff 

17. Text-based analysis captures real, raw employee sentiment. “The CallMiner Eureka platform uses conversation intelligence technology to capture, analyze, and mine interactions with employees for meaningful insight. Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, conversation intelligence solutions capture voice and text-based interactions on a broad range of channels, transforming unstructured information into structured data that can be aggregated and analyzed. By determining the meaning and intention of an employee’s language and the emotion and sentiment behind their words and opinions, conversation intelligence offers companies deep insight into what employees need, how they feel about their work, and how to improve employee experience management.” 

- Listening is step #1 in enhancing the employee experience, CallMiner; X/Twitter: @CallMiner 

18. Clear expectations make employees more engaged, especially if they’re remote or hybrid. “The most fundamental engagement element is knowing what is expected of you. Gallup’s meta-analysis across 112,312 teams and business units finds strong linkages between this element and many important organizational outcomes, including productivity, employee retention, safety, customer engagement, and employee wellbeing. 

“Organizational leaders are at a distinct disadvantage in getting work done and meeting customer needs if expectations are not clear. Gallup’s research finds the vulnerability posed by unclear expectations exists across all types of employees in the new workforce. But that vulnerability is particularly acute among hybrid and fully remote workers who have experienced double the decline in knowing what’s expected of them compared with on-site workers whose jobs could be done remotely.” 

- Jim Harter, In New Workplace, U.S. Employee Engagement Stagnates, Gallup; X/Twitter: @Gallup 

19. WEM tools can make employee-first scheduling a reality. “WEM tools enable precise workforce scheduling and resource allocation, ensuring that the right number of employees with the right skills are available at the right time. This reduces overstaffing and understaffing issues, leading to a more balanced workload and less stress for employees. The best-in-breed solutions offer shift swaps, remote and mobile access, and a personalized experience for the employee. Hot tip - make sure your scheduling policy aligns with the best interests of your employees.” 

- Michael Clark, Can you enhance your employee experience using Workforce Engagement Management solutions?, via LinkedIn; LinkedIn: Michael Clark 

20. Create a welcoming workspace. “Look at your physical space and how it might affect your employees’ moods. Consider providing more natural lighting, comfortable chairs, open-plan workspaces, or collaborative rooms where employees can build social connections and be more productive.” 

- Whitney Beasley, The Power of a Positive Work Environment, Exude; X/Twitter: @ExudeHC 

21. Give agents ranges, not hard and fast rules. “You know, back in the day, contact centers used to be all about rules, and that approach worked for them at that time. For example, average handle time (AHT) was a key metric, and call “quality” was measured using a checklist of must-haves for which managers would listen. But that rigid approach doesn’t work anymore. Coaching is not so rule-oriented anymore, and agents refuse to be treated like a dime a dozen—they want to be treated like the skilled individuals that they are. 

“So, today, retaining agents means looking at alternative ways agents can gain the work-life balance they crave while also meeting the staffing, scheduling, and productivity needs of their contact center. Leaders are starting to give agents “lanes” to work within instead of hard and fast rules they must follow. When it comes to quality, leaders, for example, appraise agents based [on] how respectful they were of the customer’s time rather than if they greeted the customer properly. And many contact centers don’t even focus on single AHT or adherence numbers as targets anymore—instead, they give agents ranges.” 

- Kat Worman, Advice from a Workforce Management Expert on Reducing Agent Turnover, via Calabrio; X/Twitter: @Calabrio 

22. Regular benchmarking keeps your WEM strategy on track. “How do you know whether the data you’ve collected warrants an action or if you’re smooth sailing in line with strategic goals? Tap into the power of benchmarking. 

“Employee engagement benchmarks offer context surrounding the data you’ve gathered. You might receive a poor score on a particular question, then compare it to a benchmark score and discover that your score is actually quite standard for your industry. This allows you to take a step back and get a clearer picture before you evaluate what needs action. Comparing your scores with benchmarks can help you avoid trying to boost a low score when in reality, there’s not much that can be done. 

“Hitting the benchmark score isn’t the goal. Instead, use benchmarks to gain a competitive edge by evaluating the data (and the relationships in this data) to determine what matters most to your people. Benchmarks should act as a check on your strategy, not dictate reactive and potentially distracting targets.” 

- HR’s complete guide to employee engagement, Culture Amp; X/Twitter: @CultureAmp 

23. Level the playing field across generations. “Employers that invest in their employees’ career development see a positive impact on loyalty, retention, and profits. Creating an internal career development program across generations places growth and development in the hands of all employees and not just a select few. Too often, organizations reserve these opportunities for a select group of young ‘up-and-comers’ or craft one-off programs to satisfy a distinct need.  

“Yes, millennial and GenZ employees crave a roadmap, but GenX and Baby Boomers have not run out of steam. In fact, 60% of employees eligible to retire plan to continue working, and their loyalty and deep skills/experience in the organization can add untold value if cultivated appropriately. Customize your program to align personal career goals to organizational opportunity. Programs that incorporate mentorship, knowledge transfer and coaching to help sustain progress and increase employees’ self-confidence to chart their own career have more staying power and can be structured to allow career ‘transition’ conversations to start for the employees [on] day 1.” 

- 3 Tips for Effectively Engaging Today’s Workforce, CCI Consulting; X/Twitter: @CCI_Consulting 

24. Focus on WEM metrics that matter. “The apparent failure of employee engagement efforts is likely because of how organizations implement workplace employee engagement programs. Some common mistakes: 

  • Too complicated. Leaders make engagement metrics far too complicated by focusing on predictors that are often outside managers' control and typically don't relate to meeting employees' core psychological needs at work. 
  • Incorrect employee engagement metrics. They use a low-bar ‘percent favorable’ metric that inflates scores and creates blind spots, resulting in the appearance of high engagement without strong business outcomes.” 

- What Is Employee Engagement and How Do You Improve It?, Gallup; X/Twitter: @Gallup  

25. Consider ethics when implementing WEM technology. “According to Gartner, more and more employers are using technologies to monitor their staff. Examples include virtual clocking in and out using a time clock, tracking work computer use, and monitoring staff chats and emails. The use of technology to monitor employee activities has become increasingly common. However, this practice raises important ethical considerations that organizations must navigate to maintain trust and respect within the workforce.  

“Ethical monitoring respects employees’ privacy and dignity while ensuring that the organization’s objectives are met. It’s crucial to balance gathering useful data and respecting individual privacy rights. Transparency is key—employees should be fully informed about what is being monitored and why. This openness helps build trust and demonstrates that monitoring is not about surveillance but supporting a productive and secure work environment. 

“Moreover, it’s essential to use monitoring data responsibly. Data should be used constructively to identify areas for improvement, support employee development, and enhance team performance rather than as a punitive measure. Organizations should establish clear policies that outline the scope of monitoring, the type of data collected, and how it will be used. These policies should be developed in consultation with employees or their representatives to ensure they are fair and understood by all.” 

- How Technology Boosts Workplace Engagement and Productivity, Deliberate Directions; Facebook: Deliberate Directions 

Implement a data-driven workforce engagement management strategy 

Conversation intelligence software is a powerful tool for workforce engagement management. For example, CallMiner analyzes 100% of employee interactions, providing valuable insight into your workforce's needs and desires. Armed with these insights, your organization can take a proactive, data-driven approach to workforce engagement management while ensuring employee and customer happiness.  

Frequently asked questions 

What’s the difference between workforce engagement management and workforce management? 

Workforce management refers to processes and tools that help a workforce be more productive and efficient, like those that target scheduling optimization or better onboarding practices. Workforce engagement management includes these practices but adds an engagement element to increase employee satisfaction through recognition, promotion, and a positive company culture. 

What does a workforce engagement manager do?

A workforce engagement manager oversees a company’s workforce engagement management strategies. They’re also responsible for implementing new WEM strategies and software to improve the organization’s WEM practices. 

What is WEM software? 

WEM (workforce engagement management) software is any software that an organization can use to improve its WEM strategies, including time tracking, employee feedback, and performance monitoring software.  


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